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"Sacre Bleu Movie"
2 stars
Charles Tatum says... "The only thing really notable about this navel gazing documentary detailing the life of a French pornographic film actress (sorry, "erotic" film actress) was its acceptance forty years ago into the mainstream New York Film Festival. While scandalous in its day, the film is an exercise in tedium, but with occasional explicit sex to wake a snoozing audience." (more)
"Ducks suck together!"
2 stars
Jaycie says... "The second film in the Mighty Ducks trilogy was released in 1994, the year that also gave us 3 Ninjas Kick Back, Little Big League, Angels in the Outfield, The Next Karate Kid and Little Giants. So if you expected anything other than a crapstorm of sports movie clichés, you’ve come to the wrong year." (more)
"Beautiful and meticulous, but you have to grab it rather than vice versa."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""By the Sea" is the sort of movie I would have called boring as a younger man, and I wouldn't back away from the word here but for the craftsmanship being so impeccable. It's a film that often seems to encourage dissection rather than reaction, paradoxically demanding close attention despite not always doing much to seize it." (more)
"Another first love."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "So, here's a weird coincidence - two Mandarin-language movies reaching American cinemas a mere two days apart, both nostalgic romances that, at different points, involve the young characters needing to meet up at McDonald's. They're from different countries (China and Taiwan) with very different focuses, and while I like this one a bit more, it seems like this part of the world is pumping out a lot of movies like this, and this one isn't one of the best." (more)
"You could certainly do worse."
2 stars
Jaycie says... "It's unusual for me not to know this, but why did everyone else loathe this movie so much? This is one of the few films to obtain a highly coveted 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, putting it in the company of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas and several direct-to-video Disney sequels that never should have been thought about, much less made. Caffeine is easier to drink down than any of those." (more)
"Stretching a good thing much too far."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It's been gratifying to watch the "Hunger Games" film series evolve from little more than a toothless take on the same material as "Battle Royale" to one which is at least interesting in its cynicism, to the point where I was surprised how much I anticipated this final entry in the series. Unfortunately, the final film stretches everything out beyond reason, and what was intriguing before is played out well before this episode mercifully ends." (more)
"a.k.a. SuperNaughty"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Following in the tradition of such recent hits as the immortal "Bad Santa" and the surprisingly not-that-bad "A Very Harold & Kumar 3-D Christmas," "The Night Before" is the latest yuletide-themes raunchfest to make a play for audiences who need something a little stronger than the latest iteration of "A Christmas Carol" or whatever piece of crap Diane Keaton is doing these days. Essentially a riff of "Superbad" with all the holiday trimmings--not to mention prodigious amounts of drugs, vomiting and depraved behavior and a cameo from Miley Cyrus--the end result is a scattershot affair that, like most nights on the town, goes on way too long and is never quite as fun as it thinks it is but which does contain enough fun moments to make you at least temporarily forget the draggy ones." (more)
"Some Things Are Better Off On the Shelf"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "With films like "Manos--The Hands of Fate" (which recently received a lavish Blu-Ray treatment that would the envy of most respectable films of its vintage that either get the bare-bones treatment or continue to languish in the vaults) and "The Room" (whose tumultuous creation is now being commemorated in a feature film starring James Franco) having their awfulness ironically embraced by hipsters around the world, cinema archivists are now working overtime to unearth long-forgotten duds. The latest oldie-but-not-so-goodie to get this treatment is "Dangerous Men," a micro-budgeted revenge opus in the mode of "Death Wish" and "Sudden Impact" from one-man moviemaking band John S. Rad, who served as writer, director, producer, production designer, editor, composer, set director and executive producer. You may wonder how one man could do all those jobs on the same film but after watching the shoddy results, one would be hard-pressed to prove that he did much of anything." (more)
"Don't Cry For Them, Argentina"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "On paper, "Secret in Their Eyes" seems to have a lot going for it. It is based on a 2009 Argentinian film that won a number of international prizes, including the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film. It was directed by Billy Ray, whose previous efforts have included the solid and fascinating dramas "Shattered Glass" and "Breach." Most significantly, at least from a marketing perspective, the lead roles have been filled with two Oscar-winning superstars in Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman and a celebrated Oscar-nominated actor in Chiwetel Ejiofor. The only thing that it doesn't have, alas, is a compelling argument for its existence. It isn't so much a bad movie--though it certainly isn't very good--as it is a dull one and while it moves along efficiently enough, it never quite manages to come to life." (more)
"Nice folks, middling story."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "China seems to be producing a lot of movies like "A Journey Through Time with Anthony" (slightly less unwieldy than the film's Mandarin title, "Pei an dong ni du guo man chang sui yue") lately, plucked from the blogs and romans Ă  clefs of relatively young writers. Some of them not only translate the distinctive voices and doodles into sweet little movies, but it seems the majority wind up like this one: Cute, pleasant, and eventually coming up against how a series of reminiscences isn't quite the same thing as a story." (more)

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